COSACOSA art at large, Inc. Overview
Programs: COSACOSA designs innovative programs to deliver interactive dialogues through art directly into inner city Philadelphia neighborhoods. Each year, through extended, community-based artist residencies, we engage city residents of different backgrounds, ages and cultures to design and create site-specific public art projects in collaboration with professional artists. Since its inception, COSACOSA has brought together thousands of citizens from over thirty city neighborhoods to learn about art, about each other, and about how to work together. Our approach is multidisciplinary -- incorporating many possible artistic techniques, from painting to theater, from sound art to ceramics -- as well as interactive, creating safe forums for city residents to dialogue and build their communities through art-making. COSACOSA's first major initiative, Community Collections (begun in 1990), examines Philadelphia's cultural histories and changing urban landscapes through community-based artist residencies. In 1995, a second organizational initiative was established, the Healing Art Project, a youth development program exploring relationships between art and healing. Young people in the hospital come together with at-risk youth from local communities for interactive dialogue to design and create permanent, collaborative public art. In 2003, two new initiatives were launched, Artist.Sight.org, a gallery featuring exhibitions by community-based artists creating for cultural change and Connection Studios, a youth-centered art and technology program.
COSACOSA constituents work together to achieve shared objectives, including
• originating new community-specific art, collaboratively conceived and created by individuals of differing backgrounds and abilities working together with professional artists;
• ensuring the permanence of a high quality, accessible arts
program providing all of our city's residents with meaningful opportunities to create art;.
• lessening the physical, social, and economic barriers that often limit the audience for art and art-making;.
• exposing our project participants to artist-leaders who represent new ways of working and thinking from those role models they may have previously encountered;.
• initiating dialogues on art, health and community that include a multiplicity of voices, abilities, cultural visions and values; and
• building a sense of community ownership and participation among the project participants.
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